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19th Dec 2022

Strictly’s Shirley Ballas on a break after facing “immense trolling”

“I’m going to take some time off and just get myself together for the new year.”

Following the glittering Strictly Come Dancing finale on Saturday night, one of its judges has announced that she’ll be taking a bit of a break instead of jumping back to work.

Shirley Ballas – who normally participates in the pantomime circuit following Strictly Come Dancing’s run – has announced that she’s taking some time for herself, citing “immense trolling” during her time on the show.

Speaking to S Magazine, Shirley outlined her decision to prioritise rest and relaxation right now.

“It’s the first time I’ve taken any time off – ever!” she said. “I’m taking two and a half weeks off, because of the immense amount of trolling I got throughout this series.”

She also pointed to an incident from the last time she did panto, which she found “off-putting”.

She said: “I decided I wouldn’t do panto this year. Last time I did it, I got a letter hand-delivered to the theatre that was very off-putting (….) So I’m going to take some time off and just get myself together for the new year.”

Shirley pointed to some of the examples of trolling she received, and how she internalised what was said about her.

“It makes you (go)… ‘Do I look right? Am I too heavy? Am I this? Am I that? Cover up your bingo arms. Should I wear a dress with sleeves?'”

Shirley has faced some criticism from fans this year for some of her judging decisions, which led many viewers to think that she was biased towards the male contestants.

Amidst the backlash, Shirley tweeted that she received “apologies” from people who left her “hurtful messages”.

She said: “I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages I’ve received on social media. All apologies are accepted and from now on let’s all respect each other and enjoy the show.”

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